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Outcome, Process & Power in Direct Democracy

  • Bruno S. Frey
  • Marcel Kucher
  • Alois Stutzer

Based on survey data for Switzerland, new empirical findings on direct democracy are presented. In the first part, we show that, on average, public employees receive lower financial compensation under more direct democratic institutions. However, top bureaucrats are more constrained in direct de m ocracies and have to be compensated by higher wages for that loss of power. In the second part, we demonstrate that reported subjective well-being of the population is much higher in jurisdictions with stronger direct democratic rights. This is not only the case because people value political outcomes higher but they derive utility from the politcal process itself.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 222.

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Date of creation: 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_222
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  1. Bohnet, Iris & Frey, Bruno S, 1994. "Direct-Democratic Rules: The Role of Discussion," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 341-54.
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  3. Santerre, Rexford E, 1993. " Representative versus Direct Democracy: The Role of Public Bureaucrats," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 76(3), pages 189-98, July.
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  7. Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert J. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 615, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  8. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2010. "Direkte Demokratie," CREMA Working Paper Series 2010-16, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  9. Lars P. Feld & Gebhard Kirchgassner, 1999. "Public Debt and Budgetary Procedures: Top Down or Bottom Up? Some Evidence from Swiss Municipalities," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 151-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  21. Oswald, Andrew, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 478, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
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  23. Feld, Lars P & Savioz, Marcel R, 1997. "Direct Democracy Matters for Economic Performance: An Empirical Investigation," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 507-38.
  24. Frey, Bruno S, 1997. "A Constitution for Knaves Crowds Out Civic Virtues," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1043-53, July.
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